Panasonic LX15 vs Sony RX100 IV
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 (called Panasonic LX10 in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2016 and June 2015. Both the LX15 and the RX100 IV are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX15 and the Sony RX100 IV are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The LX15 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the RX100 IV is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 IV is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Panasonic LX15. Moreover, the RX100 IV is slightly lighter (4 percent) than the LX15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LX15 nor the RX100 IV are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the LX15 gets 260 shots out of its DMW-BLH7 battery, while the RX100 IV can take 280 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Panasonic LX15||106 mm||60 mm||42 mm||310 g||260||n||Sep 2016||699||amazon.com|
|2.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X70||113 mm||64 mm||44 mm||340 g||330||n||Jan 2016||799||ebay.com|
|6.||Panasonic TZ200||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799||amazon.com|
|7.||Panasonic TZ90||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449||ebay.com|
|8.||Panasonic FZ2000||138 mm||102 mm||135 mm||915 g||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199||amazon.com|
|9.||Panasonic FZ2500||138 mm||102 mm||135 mm||915 g||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199||amazon.com|
|10.||Panasonic GX80||122 mm||71 mm||44 mm||426 g||290||n||Apr 2016||799||amazon.com|
|11.||Panasonic TZ100||111 mm||65 mm||44 mm||312 g||300||n||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The LX15 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the RX100 IV, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2. The LX15 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the LX15 and the RX100 IV have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the LX15 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the RX100 IV, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV offers exactly the same ISO settings.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|2.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||260||62|
|4.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||471||62|
|10.||Panasonic GX80||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.9||12.6||662||71|
|13.||Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|15.||Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the RX100 IV has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX15 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic LX15, the Sony RX100 IV, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Panasonic LX15||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm X70||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Panasonic TZ200||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Panasonic TZ90||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Panasonic FZ2000||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Panasonic FZ2500||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Panasonic GX80||2765||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Panasonic TZ100||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Panasonic LX7||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The LX15 has a touchscreen, while the RX100 IV has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Panasonic LX15 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Both the LX15 and the RX100 IV have zoom lenses built in. The LX15 has a 24-72mm f/1.4-2.8 optic and the RX100 IV offers a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic and Sony provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Sony has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX15 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The LX15 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX100 IV uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic LX15||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X70||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Panasonic TZ200||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Panasonic TZ90||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Panasonic FZ2000||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Panasonic FZ2500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic GX80||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic TZ100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic LX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Sony RX100 V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
The LX15 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the RX100 IV has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX100 IV was succeeded by the Sony RX100 IV. Further information on the features and operation of the LX15 and RX100 IV can be found, respectively, in the Panasonic LX15 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony RX100 IV Manual.
So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic LX15 better than the Sony RX100 IV or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15:
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.4 vs f/1.8).
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 3 months after the RX100 IV).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV:
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1228k vs 1040k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (16 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2015).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the LX15 emerges as the winner of the contest (8 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic LX15 and the Sony RX100 IV place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the LX15 or the RX100 IV. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Panasonic LX15||..||+ +||4/5||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699||amazon.com|
|2.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X70||4.5/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||799||ebay.com|
|6.||Panasonic TZ200||..||+ +||4.5/5||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799||amazon.com|
|7.||Panasonic TZ90||..||+ +||4/5||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449||ebay.com|
|8.||Panasonic FZ2000||..||+||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199||amazon.com|
|9.||Panasonic FZ2500||..||+||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199||amazon.com|
|10.||Panasonic GX80||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||5/5||5/5||Apr 2016||799||amazon.com|
|11.||Panasonic TZ100||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony RX100 V||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony RX100 II||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D Mark II vs Panasonic LX15
- Canon 450D vs Sony RX100 IV
- Canon G7 X vs Panasonic LX15
- Canon SX60 vs Sony RX100 IV
- Fujifilm X-E2 vs Panasonic LX15
- Fujifilm X-T30 II vs Panasonic LX15
- Olympus E-PL8 vs Sony RX100 IV
- Panasonic FT7 vs Panasonic LX15
- Panasonic GX8 vs Sony RX100 IV
- Panasonic LX15 vs Panasonic ZS70
- Panasonic S1 vs Sony RX100 IV
- Sony A850 vs Sony RX100 IV
Specifications: Panasonic LX15 vs Sony RX100 IV
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic LX15||Sony RX100 IV|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-72mm f/1.4-2.8||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|Launch Date||September 2016||June 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 999|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic LX15||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 12,800 ISO||125 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 25,600 ISO||80 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||70|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||591|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic LX15||Sony RX100 IV|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1228k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic LX15||Sony RX100 IV|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||16 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||up to 1/32000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic LX15||Sony RX100 IV|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic LX15||Sony RX100 IV|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||260 shots per charge||280 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
106 x 60 x 42 mm
(4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
102 x 58 x 41 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||310 g (10.9 oz)||298 g (10.5 oz)|
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